A  History









David Brown

(1750 – 1836)







The story of David Brown (1750-1836) and his descendants and their connections reflect the story of free European settlement of Australia. The Browns arrived in the colony of New South Wales (N.S.W.) on the C. T. 'Earl Cornwallis' in 1801. David junior (c1783-1857) and his wife, Elizabeth McMahon (1799-1837), and their descendants, feature prominently in this history. Elizabeth’s mother, Catherine Mooney (c1778-1857) and the children that she raised from her marriages with Terence McMahon (c1767- 1801) and Patrick Humphries (1767- 1846), are an integral part of this history. Likewise, David senior’s son-in-law, James Chisholm (1772–1837), and his family, form a significant part of the Brown story.


The origins of David Brown are a mystery. Family legend has proved to be a tantalising challenge to all those who have attempted to research David and his family. Finding anything of substance that will corroborate or disprove the hints of Jacobite connections and lost lands in Scotland has so far been to no avail.


David’s family were very much part of major events in the expansion of European settlement from Sydney to the Hawkesbury River, and then north to the Hunter River and Liverpool Plains. The Browns are particularly associated with the Cattai region, Jerry’s Plains, and Millie. To the south, through David's son-in-law, and grandson, the Chisholm's became a significant part of the history of the Camden and Goulburn regions. Through the Humphries there is a long association with Watson's Bay and Brisbane Waters.


The significance of the development of the colony up to the Hunter, and then the push to the north-west and north from there, has been very much under appreciated. This appears to be due to the fact that most of this was achieved (under very difficult circumstances) through the efforts of ordinary folk, rather than ‘establishment’ people.


Notable are some of the women of this history, such as Catherine Mooney, Elizabeth McMahon, Mary Brown, Ann Shepherd, and Ann Emma Brown - They stand out as people of particularly strong and independent character.



The Manuscript

The manuscript of the history of David Brown & family and their times has long been nearing publication. A considerable number of people, one way and another, have contributed to its production.   The manuscript has been put on the net primarily to make the information available for family researchers. Secondly, it is to ascertain expressions of interest in its publication in hard copy form.


The manuscript has of late been the subject of numerous minor changes, amendments, corrections, and additions - Some being more significant than others. This is especially so thanks to various comments received since going on the net. Updating is likely to be an ongoing process until the work is published.


During 2010, hard copies of the 'Industry and Perseverance' manuscript were lodged with both the National Library of Australia and the NSW State Library.   The National Library of Australia has archived this web site and all associated manuscript files as it was on 19 February 2010 and 31 March 2011 through its 'PANDORA' service.


Most of the manuscript can be downloaded in PDF format as: cover pages (12 pages 365kb), and chapters, with appendixes, bibliography, and index combined, and individual chapters.  All together, the work comprises approximately 282 x A4 pages. The date range covered by each chapter is indicated in brackets adjacent to the chapter title.   


John Griffiths


Cover Pages

Cover, Acknowledgements, Contents, Preface, List of Descendents (Brown, McMahon Humphries)


12 pages




Heading - (date range of Chapter)


Creation of a Colony





Sydney Bound - ‘By Government Order’ - (1750 - 1800)

David Brown senior, and children James, David, Thomas, and Mary, refitting and sailing C T Earl Cornwallis to Cowes,




The Troubles of 1798 - (1767 - 1801)

Rebellion in Ireland, Terence McMahon, Catherine Mooney, Elizabeth McMahon. Migration to Sydney on C T Minerva.




The Settling of the Browns  (1801-1804)

C.T..Earl Cornwallis set sail from Cowes to Sydney; David Brown snr, Mary Brown, James Brown,  David Brown, Thomas Brown; John Macarthur, 100 acres granted to David Snr at Ryde. 



A Prudent Man - (1772 - 1810)

James Chisholm, David Brown, Mary Chisholm nee Brown, Spring Row




The Hawkesbury Connection - (1801 -1813)

James Brown granted land at Cattai. Includes Henry Kable, Cattai, Brig.. Elizabeth, Lachlan Macquarie, George Hall, William Bligh, Ebenezer, Rum Corps, Brig. Favorite, Tahiti, David Brown snr.




Wicklow at the Bay - (1801 - 1815)

Catherine (nee Mooney) McMahon & Patrick Humphries




Transition - (1810 - 1822)

Erskine Street, David Brown snr, Thomas Humphries, David Brown jnr & Elizabeth McMahon, William Spears, James Chisholm, James Chisholm Jnr (Jas), Dr Halloran's school. Mary Chisholm nee Brown.





The Push North - (1813 - 1824)

Overland Route to the Hunter, John Howe, Land grants on the Hunter




Settling the Hunter - (1820 – 1832)

Henry Dangar, Steamship Service, Dr Allan Cunningham, Bushrangers, Elizabeth Brown nee McMahon, Brown's land grants Jerry's Plains




Only a Working Carpenter - (1820 - 1837)

Thomas (I) Brown, Thomas O’Neal, Bridget O’Neil, Rev. Father John Joseph Therry, James Chisholm, Sarah, Amelia, and Rosanne Brown.




Attraction of the Liverpool Plains - (1831-1833)

Sir Thomas Mitchell , Australian Agricultural Company, bushrangers, Richard Alcorn, The Green Gate Inn




The Tattooed Glass Grinder - (1815 - 1836)

Women Convicts, Marriage Ann Shepherd & Thomas (II) Brown, Elizabeth (McMahone) Brown, Great North Road, David Brown snr, Rev. John McGarvie.




Landowner, Merchant and Banker - (1819 - 1837)

James Chisholm, Alexander Kinghorne, Gledswood, Alexander Chisholm, Elizabeth M. Kinghorne, Bold Jack Donohoe, Newtown Farm, Brown and Company – Wine and Spirit Merchants.




Challenging Times - (1836 - 1841)

Squatting 100 square mile run beyond the 19 Counties, Economic Depression, Numerous 'Millie' and 'John Brown', Death of Elizabeth.1837




More of the Humphrey's - (1815 - 1837)

Wicklow, Watson's Bay, Thomas Humphries, Brisbane Water




Formation of a Township - (1838 - 1844)

Jerry's Plains, Thomas Brown II




Of Violent Events and Drought - (1844 - 1847)

Drought on the Hunter,




Affairs of Consequence - (1847 - 1849)

David (II) Brown, Harriet D'Arcy, John Brown, Sarah Jane Alcorn




Spirit of the Scots - (1850 - 1856)

Birth of Twins, Horse Races




Difficult Last Years - (1855 - 1857)

Death of Harriet Brown (nee Davis), William Wallace Brown




Inheritance - (1857 - 1918)

Alfred Brown, Robert Bruce, John Andrew Brown, Morlancourt (France) WW I, Henry Brown, John James Brown, David Brown, Thomas Edward Brown,




Catherine & Family - (1838 -1857)

Watson's Bay less remote,




Connections and Obligations - (1835 - 1888)

Jas Chisholm & Sarah, Amelia, and Rosanne Brown, Kippilaw,  Father John Joseph Therry



Midwife & Shopkeeper - (1848 - 1922)

Anne Brown nee Shepherd, (Anne Brown nee Stanley?) John James Brown, Thomas Edward Brown, Malcolm Brown, Anne Emma Brown, Alfred Edward Haddock, Mary Elizabeth Midgely, James Midgley, Luke Funnell, Louis Fennell, Thomas Fennell, Thomas Funnell, Thomas Charles Darrelle, Ann Stanley




Millie Men - (1841 - 1909)

James, John, & David (III) Brown, David Humphries, George Humphries, Ellerslie, Ada Cottage




David’s Daughters - (1842 - 1910)

Mary & Kate, Charles Solomon Capp, Robert Bruce Hobden, David Humphries




Elizabeth's Other Sons - (1855 - 1932)

Alick & George, Bushrangers, Millie




Jerry’s Plains, Ironbark and Beyond - (1848-1962)

Ann Emma Brown, Alfred Edward Haddock, Ironbarks, Mary Ann Searle Haddock, Wallalong Public School, Hexam, Mabel Alice Haddock, David Haddock, Wallsend, Tremarton Public School, Stockton, Kograh, Ruby Alfreda Haddock, Elsie Victoria Haddock, John Griffiths I, Milton T. Griffiths, Great Depression








Appendixes, Bibliography, and Index listed below are available for download as a single PDF file.

Appendix A

Signatures and Other Things


Appendix B

David Brown Senior's Letter


Appendix C

Brown Legend - per Blanche E. Jenkins


Appendix D

Humphries Legend/ History


Appendix E

Brown Legend - O’Neil Perspective


Appendix F

William Brown - A re-occurring figure


Appendix G

Various Offspring (McMahan, Humphries)


Appendix H

The Authors Connection









David Browns Jnr's Will of 1856

Typed Transcript

See Chapter 22

David Brown’s Lion Seal



Questions To Be Resolved

Some Leads to Follow


St Clair, James St, New Farm

Miss Annie Midgley’s Educational Establishment

Sequel to Chapter 25

The Mystery of THOMAS CHARLES DARRELLE – Solved thanks to DNA Science!


Thomas  Funnell

Sequel to Chapter 25

N.B. Comments concerning such things as inconsistencies, glaring typo's with dates, PDF files not downloading, and expressions of interest in a published copy of the work are welcome.


Internet correspondence to SEARCHER can be addressed to:

db1801nsw at




Queanbeyan, NSW 2620 

Portion Manuscript last updated   Chapters 2, 4, 5, 8, 11, 14 ( p 124), and 24


Gratefully acknowledged is the research contributions, suggested corrections,  and other assistance provided by:


A Alarcon, Greg Ball, Elizabeth Baxter, Philip Booker, Roslyn Brooks, Carolyn Chown, Helen Dickenson, Shirley Downs, Valma Gee, Betty Griffiths, Bruce Griffiths, Judith Griffiths, Janice Groves, Leigh Harkness, Christine Hodge, Merryll Hope, Liz McPherson, Chis Maxwell, Peter Mayberry, Annie Midgley, Mitchell Library, Michelle Nichols, NLA, Les Newton, Dr. Pennie Pemberton, Alex Pugh, Peter Roderick, George Simpson, Anna Skurowski (NLA), Pat Smith, Marie Tattam, Marcus Testoni, James Tolson, Fay Turner.


2 September  2017




Websites of Interest:

James Chisholm - Merchant 

Inscriptions List for Jerrys Plains Old Anglican Cemetery

Hawkesbury Cemetery and Grave Register  

The Sydney Dead Persons Society

Cemetery Records - Australia

Australian Cemeteries

Ryde District Historical Society

Hawkesbury Historical Society

Hunter Valley History Connection

Singleton Family History Society

Maitland & District Genealogical Society Inc



Free Settler or Felon

National Library of Australia (NLA)

NLA's Trove of Australian Newspapers - 1803 to 1954

National Archives of Australia

State Library of New South Wales

New South Wales State Archives

Ethel May ('Ciss') Dadswell*

New South Wales Department of Lands - Parish and Historical Records

Historical Births, Deaths, & Marriage Records NSW

Australian War memorial - Family History Site

Transcription Service for BDM's - Joy Murrin

Society of Australian Genealogists

United Kingdom Census Records

Hawkesbury Pioneer Registers

Convicts to Australia - Guide for researching Convict Ancestors

List of Sources to NSW Records

Family History and Historical Societies in Australia

Australian Heritage Online

Midgley Family in Australia


* In regard to “Lest We Forget”, Chapter 21-Inheritance.

Worship, Praise, and Thanks     (Anbetung, Lob und Dank)

I've been to the mountain top - An excerpt from the last speech given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee the next day on April 4, 1968.

Why voters are disillusioned with the major political parties   - Viddeo by Leigh Harkness comment on Economic factors influencing the 2016 Federal Election in Australia

Manufacturing is going under & many other industries foundering but the banks are having a Whale of a time, why? - Submission by Leigh Harkness to the government's Financial System Inquiry (FSI) 2014 reveals a long standing flaw in Australia's monetary system that favours the banking industry and distorts the Australian economy.

Mouth breathing > Craniofacial changes and Crooked teeth -Patrick McKeown

Kokonut Pacific - Empowering the Pacific

Peter Andrews' Natural Sequence Farming

Sue Wilmington's - Cygnet Valley Enterprises - An equestrian coaching business

HOME in Queanbeyan - A community-based response to provide a home for people with chronic mental illness - A place where people can live with the dignity and love they deserve.

St Benedict's Community Day Centre - is a place of emotional, physical, and spiritual security for the marginalised in the community to come for friendship, advocacy, a meal, support, and assistance in finding appropriate housing.

Australia - Bank Credit, the Current Account and Fiscal DeficitIncludes an illustration which charts trends since 1980.

CIA World Fact Book


Deutsche Welle World News

Tango Argentina - Patrico Touceda & Carla Chimento dancing 'Queias de Baudoneon'.

Queanbeyan Public School African Drumming Group - Performance of young primary school pupilsat the Sydney Town Hall in September 2010 with their teacher, Kate Gascoyne from Drum Effect.

Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Christmas 2010 in New York. Very special and joyous celebration.

Stock Market Pressure Index - Identifies a relationship between monetary growth and the current account deficit which provides an indication of the level of investment in the stock market.

Max Raabe & Das Palaster Orchester – Die Nacht ist nicht allein zum Schlafen


                                       RICHARD BURTON - "FIRST VOICE.'

RBA’s Pear-Shaped Economy – a work in progress - Explains Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) role in the economic difficulties unfolding. Deals with the issues behind RBA's quixotic obsession with a 'strong' but uncompetitive Australian dollar; their indifference to the high exchange rate's impact on Australian industries & jobs; and their long running but ineffective battle with inflation .Plain language and illustrations   

Whale Watching at Eden – 19 September 2012'.

LIZZY  -  Broadband and Telephone Services

coolJargon  - Specialised language checker for students & professionals.  It offers software that makes sense of legal, medical (especially on Cancer), academic and other professional terms and jargon  - Demystifies business buzzwords.   Access to the Academic Wordlist is free.

Lecture - N.T. Wright - How Paul Invented Christian Theology


(Gestiefelte Bote)












Geography, Sydney, colony, Industry, Perseverance, settlement, history, convicts, Hawkesbury, Cattai, Liverpool, Plains, Industry  James, Goulburn, Minerva, Ironbark, Hunter Valley, Pyrmont, River  Transport, Port Jackson, port, Jackson ,Wicklow, Wicklow at the Bay, Ireland, Cork, Wicklow Rebellion 1798, Rebellion, Waterloo Creek, bush rangers, Earl Cornwallis, Brisbane Water, HMS Buffalo, Buffalo HMS, N.S.W. Corps, New South Wales Corps,  Balmain, Windsor, Australian Agricultural Company (AAC), AAC, Camden, Great North Road, Cockle Bay, Darling, Harbour, Westpac, Bank of New South Wales, Thunderbolt (Captain), Captain Thunderbolt, Captain, thunderbolt, Aboriginals, Massacre, Edinburgh, Wiseman’s Ferry, Squatters, Elizabeth McMahon, John Andrew Brown, Ethel May Dadswell, Erskine St, Erskine Street,  Sydney, Erskine Street, Alfred Haddock, Alfred Edward Haddock, Patrick Humphries, Buoyant Economics, John Brown, Ellerslie, Bulga Road, Bulga Track, John Andrew Brown, John Andrew Brown, Pioniere, pioniere, Malcolm, Sailly Laurette, Ethel May (‘Ciss’) Dadswell,  Ethel May Dadswell,13 June,1918, Beacon, Cemetery,  25th Battalion Australian Imperial Forces,  25th,  Battalion, Cunnamulla,10 June 1918,stockman, jackeroo, By Government Order, HMAT Wilshire, Historische, Baisse, carpenter, carpentry, Bray-Corbie Road, Stadt, New South Wales, N.S.W., New, South, Wales, new south wales, n.s.w., nsw,, corps, jerrys, plains, jerry’s  Chisholm, James, Chisholm, james